Arsene Wenger's side need a midfield marshal like Patrick Vieira.

Arsenal defence needs protection.

Arsenal need a midfield marshal like Patrick Vieira says Gunners legend Thierry Henry.

In recent years Arsene Wenger's side have been criticised for the lack of physical presence in the heart of Arsenal's midfield and the absence of leaders like they had in Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Gilberto Silva in the past.

However, former French striker Henry reckons the lack of a top defensive midfielder contributes to the problems they've had in defence.

"It looks now like Arsenal are a team trying to finish fourth and when you think about Arsenal, that's not what you expect,” the former Arsenal Striker told Sky Sports. “You want to see them trying to win the title.

"The fans should expect more and the players, too. I'm sure Arsene himself wants more.

"They're not far off but they're missing a big piece; they're missing a Patrick Vieira, a Gilberto Silva. Those guys would have done anything to protect the back four and allow the forwards to play well.

"Do Arsenal have that? I don't think so.

The Sky Sports pundit continued: "It's easy to have a go at Per Mertesacker, for example, but you have to ask: has he had the right protection?

"Defending better doesn't mean that you're only talking about the back four; it has to be a team effort and you need those guys in front of the defence who'll do whatever it takes."


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